Poor Barack Hussein Obama. Fred Hiatt of The Washington Post thinks he has a "happiness deficit" because he hates his job. But we have another theory: Barack Obama isn't sad... he's afflicted by SAD. Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Hiatt—overlord of the worst opinion section in America—paints our president in such melancholy hues that you can imagine Hamlet slapping his back with a heartening "Buck up, kiddo." The problem, Hiatt writes, is that Obama "doesn't seem all that happy being president." Hiatt wonders with concern: "What part of it does he enjoy?" Obama bristles at "schmoozing with foreign leaders;" he only reluctantly goes about "rolling up his sleeves and wading into the crowd;" he even prefers a game of basketball to "putting his feet up on his desk after a long day and chewing over events with aides."
Hiatt cites this sad excerpt from a January People interview:
President Obama spoke in such a hush about the loneliness of his decisions on war and terrorism that one could hear between his words the tick of an old lighthouse clock across the room.
An old lighthouse clock. Symbolic, because lighthouse keepers also hate their jobs.
Is Obama just your typical disaffected commander-in-chief, joylessly clocking into the Oval Office each day and googling "retirement communities + greater Chicago area" between meetings? Since we're playing Presidential psychologist, we'd like to suggest a more clinical explanation for Obama's recent funk.
It's called Seasonal Affective Disorder, and it afflicts as many as 1.5-9% of adult Americans. Obama's physical found nothing last month, but the evidence suggests, Contra Fred Hiatt, that Obama's Happiness Deficit is in fact nothing more than a seasonal deficit of Vitamin D. Obama's Big Sad Time really began with the death of the public option back in December. It reached its peak with the election of Scott Brown in February. This is the dead of winter! Wikipedia, work your magic:
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also known as winter depression or winter blues, is a mood disorder in which people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year experience depressive symptoms in the winter.
Our seasonally-depressed president has been in no state to weather the normal ups-and-downs of the presidency. The hallowed look in his eyes grew hallower. His hair grew even grayer. He speaks in hushed tones of loneliness and wants nothing to do with other world leaders who would only remind him of his own pain. He's smoking again, popping Provigil like it was Tic Tacs. Just gotta make it to spring, he probably mutters to himself during a midnight trip to the White House kitchen, another sleepless night, another microwave burrito and endless C-Span marathon... to forget.
But spring approaches! We are hopeful that with the sun and the crocuses will come a reborn Obama as his nervous system floods with Sweet Lady Vitamin D. Until that time, though, we have a suggestion that's probably healthier than cigs and late-night C-Span marathons: